Montreal fishing spots

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Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Last ice bass and perch frenzy

After having put away my ice gear for the season, wasn't able to catch anything over a couple short open water outings. Following the recent cold front, I decided to go for one final ice outing of the season, took my ice gear back out, and headed North to find safe ice up at altitude.

My plan for the ice outing, was to harvest my bag limit of 6 largemouth bass, as well as any jumbo perch that were not infested with worms. Being that largemouth are not native to this lake, and have decimated the native smallmouth bass over the years, my son and I have culled nearly 100 largemouth bass from there over the past few seasons, mainly in the 12 to 15 inch range.

Having fished this particular lake on ice a few times in the past, I had a good idea of where to get started. After a good 20 minute trekk to my spot, the first hole I drilled had a depth of 24 feet under nearly 2 feet of ice. 

I got bit on the first drop of the day, felt like a decent bass, but id came off a few feet under the hole. With the transducer still in the hole, I watched the fish hover around in suspension. As I dropped my rattlebait back down, I was surprised that it came back and bit again. This time, it was well hooked, and I landed this nice 3 lbs largemouth.

Both my biggest of the winter, and biggest largemouth I've caught on this lake to date, what a way to start the day!

Followed up with another chunky largemouth bass, I was happy to catch some in that size range back to back, as bass in this lake are normally smaller. Guessing some of the culling both by locals in open water and by us in the winter may have started to show some benefits.

As I drilled and fished for more active largemouth bass, I had my 6 fish bag limit within less than 2 hours, as well as a bunch of  smaller ones released. 

Once I had harvested my limit of largies, I decided to fish a bit deeper hoping for some big perch. I was surprised by a couple back to back smallmouth bass, fishing in a depth of 30 feet under the ice. The first one was the bigger of the two, was happy to catch my first smallmouth bass of the year.

Staying at that depth, I drilled a few more holes. Eventually hit the motherload of big perch on adjacent holes, I landed a whopping 23 perch in the 9 to 11 inch range. Unfortunately, 21 of them were 
extremely infested with worms, so I only kept 2 perch.

In between the perch, I was landing a lot of bass in the 9-12 inch range as well. In fact, I ended up smashing my previous records by nearly double, landing a whopping 30 largemouth bass, as well as 4 smallmouth bass. They were mainly schooled up, an extremely aggressive, rushing up 10 feet off bottom to smash my lure.

I shot some video footage of the action, which I hope to post here shortly.

All in all, one of my most productive days on ice ever, as far as numbers go. I beat both my bas and big perch records on the same outing, landing a total of 67 fish in about 8 hours. Weather was perfect as well, with temps reaching above freezing afternoon, and almost no wind. 

Just one of those days any ice angler dreams about, and another fairy tale ending to an ice season that's been tougher than most other in recent years. Couldn't have scripted a crazier end to it!

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